49ers

Richard Sherman as dominant as ever with 49ers, as many numbers prove

Richard Sherman as dominant as ever with 49ers, as many numbers prove

SANTA CLARA -- Richard Sherman stood at the podium after another performance for the ages, demanding your respect.

One thing, Richard. You’ve always had it.

Fire-take artists get paid to be both loud and inflammatory, but they don’t represent the strong and silent majority. Deep down, Sherman has to realize that’s the class that really matters.

Those folks know the 49ers cornerback is amazing and always has been.

Sherman certainly was during Saturday’s 27-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings at Levi’s Stadium. His third-quarter interception was the pivot point that advanced the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game.

“I knew what the route was. I beat him to the spot,” Sherman said. “Kirk [Cousins] threw a very catchable ball and I appreciate it. I was able to make the play.”

That gave the 49ers strength to break backs on an eight-play, eight-run drive that ended the resistance.

It also was a reminder why no one throws at a 31-year-old two-plus years removed from an Achilles’ tendon tear. Bad things happen.

“Since I got in the league, in every category that matters to a corner, I'm No. 1 in completion percentages, interceptions, touchdowns against, yards, completion percentage, passer rating,” Sherman said. “If that was any other corner, it wouldn't even be a conversation. But I just get tired of it. In the playoffs, I played in 13 games now, zero touchdowns given up, three interceptions.

"Like, show me somebody else doing it like that. Then I'll enjoy the argument. But there isn't one.”

It’s clear Sherman has done his homework. The Stanford product is correct on all counts. He leads the league in every category he mentioned in his epic postgame diatribe extolling his own virtues.

Sherman spent considerable time reminding people of his awesomeness after Saturday’s win. He doesn’t need to. The numbers do that for him.

Let’s ignore, for a second, his place in history. Let’s focus on performance at his advanced age.

Sherman has been targeted 34 times in his last 13 games. According to analytics site Pro Football Focus, he has allowed 17 receptions for 130 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Sherman’s allowing 10 receiving yards per game. Again, for those in the back: 10 receiving yards per game.

Even the folks on “First Take” have to say "Wow."

Let’s not use the excuse of teams preferring to target other 49ers cornerbacks. Going at Sherman has proven as fruitless as ever.

He has allowed 27 receptions for 227 yards (all season!) on 51 targets, with one touchdown. Receivers average 8.4 yards per catch. Quarterbacks have a 46.8 passer rating against him.

“That’s ‘Sherm’ for you,” fellow cornerback Emmanuel Moseley said. “That’s just what he does.”

[RELATED: Sherman aces toughest test vs. haters in 49ers' playoff win]

Sherman wants you to know just how good he is, and there’s reason to crow. He has three picks and 11 passes defensed in 13 postseason games, most of them spent with the Seahawks. Many thought he was washed up after signing with the 49ers, but the second-team All-Pro keeps doing impactful things.

“Sherm’s still one of the greatest,” linebacker Dre Greenlaw said. “… It’s all a credit to a guy who has been in this game a long time and works incredibly hard and is still making plays like he did as a younger man.”

Chiefs vs. Titans live stream: How to watch AFC Championship online, on TV

Chiefs vs. Titans live stream: How to watch AFC Championship online, on TV

It's been a long year for the Kansas City Chiefs and the fans that cheer them on each week.

Last year, the team couldn't make it to the big game, and they're praying history doesn't repeat itself when they take on the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

They'll have their work cut out for them having to face Derrick Henry. In the regular season, the running back averaged 102.7 yards per game with 18 total touchdowns. 

The Titans' run game could play a huge role in the possible success of the team.

The Chiefs, however, come into the matchup amidst a seven-game winning streak and are the favorites to advance to the Super Bowl against either the Green Bay Packers or the 49ers.

The Niners host the Packers Sunday for the NFC title game in a matchup that will have Jimmy Garoppolo facing someone he used to root for in college.

An old tweet resurfaced of Jimmy G cheering on Aaron Rodgers years ago in an NFC-division game that added to a warm-fuzzy storyline feeling. And the 49ers will do it with an advantage of no additional injuries heading into the game.

[RELATED: How Jimmy G compared self to Rodgers before draft]

Two of these four teams will head to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

Here's how you can watch Sunday's AFC Championship matchup as the Chiefs host the Titans:

Start time: Sunday, Jan. 19, at 12:05 p.m. PT
TV Channel: CBS
Live StreamfuboTV -- Get a free trial

49ers vs. Packers live stream: How to watch NFL playoff game online, on TV

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AP

49ers vs. Packers live stream: How to watch NFL playoff game online, on TV

The 49ers have a golden opportunity to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 2013.

With a win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at Levi's Stadium, the 49ers would head to Miami for Super Bowl LIV to take on the winner of the Tennesee Titans-Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship Game.

San Francisco opened as seven-point favorites, but that number has risen to -7.5 in recent days.

Injuries hampered the 49ers for most of the season, but they will enter the game against the Packers with a clean bill of health. Similarly, the Packers only have one player listed on their injury report.

Back in Week 12, the 49ers thrashed the Packers, 37-8, in Santa Clara. But no one is expecting San Francisco to cakewalk over Green Bay this time.

In that Nov. 24 matchup, vaunted 49ers defense held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to 198 yards of total offense. Rodgers completed 20 of 33 passes for just 104 yards. San Francisco will need another performance like that in order to play on Sunday, Feb. 2 in sunny Florida.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Packers]

Here's how to watch the 49ers-Packers NFC Championship Game:

When: Sunday, Jan. 19 at 6:40 p.m. ET/3:40 p.m. PT
TV: FOX
Stream: Fox Sports; fuboTV -- Get a free trial

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (6 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday)

Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 6:30 p.m.